At Nestlé, our purpose is enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future. Enabling healthier and happier lives for both individuals and their families is key to achieving our purpose. We have a holistic view of health and believe in balance, moderation and the continuous improvement of our products.
To help achieve our purpose, we focus on four main areas:
- Continuous product improvement where we look to simplify ingredients and remove artificial colours as well as meet sodium, sat fat and sugar reduction targets
- Helping consumers make informed choices by including calories on front of pack and Portion Guidance messaging on 100% of applicable products
- Supporting families in raising healthier kids through our Nestlé for Healthier Kids program that helps increase food security and improve the nutrition education to help build a healthier future
- Building and sharing nutrition knowledge both through the Nestlé Nutrition Institute as well as partnering with leading local organizations such as the Program in Food Safety, Nutrition and Regulatory Affairs at the University of Toronto
We help consumers understand how products fit into a healthy diet and lifestyle by providing clear, transparent and factual nutrition information about out products.
Serving Size Changes & How to Understand Them
Food labels hold important information that enables us to make healthier choices. Unfortunately, food labels can be difficult to interpret, particularly if two similar products have different serving sizes. As a result, Health Canada has modernized the Nutrition Facts Table (NFT) and List of Ingredient regulations to empower Canadians to make more informed choices. These new changes reflect the latest science, in addition to feedback from Canadians and other relevant stakeholders.
At Nestlé, our purpose is to enhance quality of life and contribute to a healthier future. We understand how challenging it can be to keep up-to-date with changes happening in our food environment. Shopping for the food you love shouldn’t be stressful, which is why we want to help you!
Check out the answers to some frequently asked questions below for information on how food labels are changing in Canada:
- How are serving sizes changing, and what does this mean for me?
You will notice that the serving sizes on some of your favorite Nestlé products have changed. The serving size is listed right above the calorie information on the NFT. The new serving sizes will reflect the average amount of food/beverage people typically eat/drink at one time and will be the same for similar types of products. However, it is important to understand that the serving size is not necessarily the suggested amount that a person should eat/drink in one sitting. While it is a reference point, each person’s nutritional needs will differ.
- Why is this change happening?
The goal of this change is to help make it simpler for you to decide which products are best for you and your family! These new regulations reflect how much the average person eats or drinks and will make it easier to determine the energy and nutrients in the food or beverages you are having. For single serve products, like a chocolate bar, the information on the NFT will reflect the entire bar. But for multi-serve foods, like pizza and tubs of ice cream, the information will now be standardized for similar products.
- Does this mean that my favorite products have changed?
Don’t worry, your favorite Nestlé products have not changed! It is only the serving size on the NFT that will be different. Häagen-Dazs still makes delicious ice cream, and Delissio will still have irresistible toppings!
- Does this mean I should eat more?
No, remember that the amount on the label is not a reflection of how much you should be eating at one time. The new serving sizes show the amount of the product that people generally consume - how much you eat or drink is up to you to decide based on a variety of factors such as age, activity level and any pre-existing dietary restrictions or medical conditions. Use the NFT as a tool to help you decide the portion that is best for you and your family.
Allergens & Identifying Ingredients of Concern On-Pack
At Nestlé Canada, we understand that many of our consumers have special dietary needs and rely on our packaging to identify ingredients they may need to avoid. Clear and transparent labelling of ingredients related to food allergies and intolerances is extremely important to us. We often get questions about what these ingredients are or how to know when they are not included in our products, so we have provided answers to frequently-asked questions around dietary allergens, intolerances, and avoidances.
- What are allergies?
A food allergy is a medical condition in which your immune system mistakenly treats something that you eat or drink as if it’s dangerous to you. Your body reacts negatively to the food by having an allergic reaction which can be potentially life-threatening.
- How do allergies differ from intolerances, sensitivities, or avoidances?
Some of the symptoms of food allergy and food intolerance are similar, but the differences between the two are very important. Food allergies involve the immune system and food intolerances involve the digestive system. A food intolerance is the inability to digest or absorb certain foods. Unlike a food intolerance, a food allergy can cause a serious or even life-threatening reaction by eating a very small amount, or by touching or inhaling the food.
Additionally, some people may choose to avoid certain foods or ingredients according to their religious or ethical beliefs.
- How can I be sure a product does not contain an ingredient that I am allergic/intolerant to?
At Nestlé Canada, we take the health and safety of our consumers as our #1 priority. We do everything possible to ensure that any allergens that come into contact with our products are labeled appropriately in the ingredients statement. This means that you can be sure our products do not contain any undeclared allergens, and when a product is labeled as “free-from” an ingredient, we have followed very strict rules and regulations to ensure there is no chance of that ingredient being in the product. If you are required to avoid certain ingredients, we recommend that you always read the list of ingredients on the packaging as it has the most up-to-date information.
- What does “may contain” mean?
When you see a ‘may contain’ statement on a food or beverage label, this is a notice of potential cross-contamination that alerts you of the possible presence of an allergen in the product. Cross-contamination statements may be declared on food labels when – despite all reasonable measures to prevent contact with allergens – there is a chance for the unintended presence of food allergens in the food.
- What are the ingredient claims that Nestlé makes on products because of allergies, intolerances, or avoidances?
Canada has 11 priority allergens that must be labeled on all packaging. If the product contains any of the following, or if there is a chance for cross-contamination, you can find it in the ingredients or ‘may contain’ statement on the label.
- Tree nuts (almonds, brazil nuts, cashew nuts, hazel nuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachio, walnuts)
- Crustaceans, shellfish
- What if I have more questions on the ingredients in a specific Nestlé product?
If you require further assistance, please call Nestlé Consumer Services toll-free at 1-800-387-4636 Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.